I have spoken a few times about the lizard – that jealous part of the person that can come out in open relationships. I have realized recently how there is one food the lizard likes to feast on….
Last weekend, G and I had our annual blow up. We had been building towards it for a while. And it finally let loose after many attempts to squash it proactively.
While we were there, trying to get our points across to each other but at the same time not listening to each other, G said something that made that giant light bulb go on over my head:
He was afraid.
This argument was not about what I got versus what he gets. It wasn’t about the kids – or the house – or the equity of things. It was about being afraid of losing me.
We are open. We were swingers. We are kinky. And, as we have discovered over the past couple of years, we are poly. The poly part is what spurs on the fear in this case.
You see, we have often taken the tact with being open that we are looking for someone who fills a gap we need filled. We are not looking to replace anyone. We are looking to augment what we already have.
But what if the person you find to augment the kinky side also augments some vanilla interests as well? How do you handle that?
G attends the Seattle Comicon each year. He wanted me to go with him and the girls. And, to be honest, I wasn’t thrilled about going. Truth be told, I was happy that go-live weekend was supposed to be the same weekend as it gave me an excuse that wasn’t “because I don’t want to go.” When that fell apart, I finally said aloud “I don’t want to go” which was met with understanding at first. Until fear got involved.
G’s girlfriend is working on a comic with him. She supports him on his comic expeditions in many ways. They go do art things together. They have that shared interest.
And I love that.
But that makes G afraid. Even though I have shown interest at times, my lack of interesting has always been clear. But he is afraid we are drifting away from each other due her interest and my continued lack of interest.
So fear drove him to get upset. And try to force something that was going to make me unhappy. And ultimately him too. Layer on top of that fear the 24×7 relationship stuff – the financial debates – the kid stuff, etc – and it makes things feel even less unstable between us.
After we yelled, we talked. After we talked, we talked some more. And we realized, there was nothing to fear. We just need to make sure we have balance in our own relationship. It is really easy to allow one partner to become the heavy while the other becomes the fun one. So, we are vowed not to let that happen.
Since then, there has been less “screen time” – there has been more cuddles. There has been more us time. More talks of doing things we both want to do versus things where one of us is always compromising. We have agreed to take on more of an equitable part in the not-so-fun stuff to make sure one person isn’t always saddled with it.
Now that fear has been taken out of the lizard’s diet – the lizard is quiet again.
No bandaid fix – but a real, actionable fix.
Good stuff – in the end. Just reminds me of the quote “if it feels like you are going through hell, keep going”.